Saturday, July 4, 2015

2015 Charity Update 2 - July 4 Palisades Will Rogers 10K

The Color Guard arrives for race start

This second update follows along from this post about the 2015 Charity Run Campaign leading up to my 48th birthday on July 12, and state marathon 33 (see more about that goal).

You can donate by clicking here.

First off, an update on the fundraising. We've crossed $16,500 today!  Wow!  Even on the 4th of July, people are still donating.  I really appreciate this as do the charities themselves.  What awesome birthday presents!

And remember, we're matching donations 1:1.

As promised yesterday, I am back with an update on today's "tune up" race - the Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10K (6.2 miles).  This is a special race because, this event, started in 1978, was the first one I ever ran in 2006.  I attempted the 5K. The experience was so wonderful that I decided to keep at this crazy mid-life crisis running addiction.  The joy I felt that day in something close to 28 minutes has propelled me to competing marathons in 11 countries and 32 states and having run in even more for fun.

Besides being less than 10 minutes walk from my Palisades home, the Will Rogers tradition has a great atmosphere.  It kicks off a day of Palisadian events including a parade and a concert with fireworks.  My friend Andrew, who along with his family, I spent the pre-race time with, thinks this overdose of July 4 is due to so many service people settling in the area after World War II.  Whether that's true or not, I cannot say, but a healthy patriotic pride permeates Pacific Palisades each Independence Day.

Over 2,000 people run each year, and probably more line the streets.  Red, white and blue is in ample supply.

I came in with a goal of 50 minutes with a stretch goal of 48 minutes in honor of my pending birthday in 8 days time.  At 8:15, after a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, the gun fires.

The race starts off with a nice downhill through a residential area.  The area is packed at this stage as both 5K and 10K runners share the street.  After a half mile, I'm able to throttle down and get some speed going.  Running this course requires a real plan as there are very few flat sections - it's either up or down.  For those paying attention, that's perfect for me knowing that the Mad River VT marathon next week will be super hilly.

Run Dog Run! (and check out the socks at the top)
After looping the neighborhood, the course splits as 5Kers return to the Palisades Park to finish.  We 10kers head down Sunset Blvd towards the base of Will Rogers State Park by descending the famed road for half a mile.  The park was the home to the famed showman and after his untimely death, the state inherited the property.  The park itself is some 250 feet above Sunset, so a series of switchbacks are required to surmount the highest point on the course.
Up we go...

As you can view in the photos, this really is a natural setting (and one with a significant ascension).  Trails veer out of Will Roger into the Santa Monica Mountains and offer hours and miles of trail running or hiking.  Today the goal was only to loop the polo field and head back to the Palisades Park for our finish.

... And we are still going up!

And finally the highest point on the course, polo field to the left
A funny moment happened on our way down from the park.  A fellow runner yelled "left" so that he could sneak between me and the curb, he being able to minimize his total distance by about 1 foot vs just going around me.  I dutifully adjusted to give Captain America his requested access as he bounded down the quad shredding return to Sunset.

I smoked him on the ascent back up Sunset to the Palisades.

The end was happily uneventful.  I averaged 7:36 per mile and never had a mile over 7:55 even on the hilly bits.  500 feet of elevation up and down over 6 miles.  Perfect.

Well, I beat 50:00.

And I beat my pending birthday 48:00 goal.

My end time: An appropriate 47:47.  I will enjoy the final 8 days of that number!

Tomorrow, we'll look at the University of Maryland and our Andrew Reisse Scholarship.

Thanks for your continued support.